By Abiodun Lawal
Abeokuta – Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta has launched Stress Helpline to enable people with emotional or other health challenges call for professional counselling.
The Chief Medical Director(GMD) and Provost, psychiatric hospital, Dr Timothy Adebowale, disclosed this during a news briefing at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Abeokuta on Thursday.
He said the move was part of efforts directed toward combating frequent suicide deaths in Nigeria.
The chief medical director, who gave the Stress Helpline 09079904429, assured that it would be functional from 10 a.m on Monday, Oct. 14.
“With this Stress Helpline, people going through any emotional challenges or distress can have a professional to talk to for counseling and even referrals, rather than taking their lives.
Adebowale noted that the measure was also part of activities commemorating 2019 World Mental Health Day celebrated every Oct.10.
Adebowale said that the Stress Helpline initiative was conceived to stem the tide of suicide across the country.
Citing the World Health Organisation (WHO) to buttress his point, he stated that suicide was responsible for 800,000 annual deaths globally with over 18,000 of the figure recorded in Nigeria, yearly.
He said the essence of making suicide prevention as theme of the 2019 celebration was to further attract government attention to the scourge.
According to him, it is with a view to ensuring increased priority is given to the scourge in public health agenda.
The CMD explained that 2019 celebration would help to learn about the risk factors of suicide and how they could be addressed.
Adebowale, said that suicide was preventable and avoidable, said all public efforts should directed toward prevention.
“This campaign is for mental health promotion and suicide prevention. We call on members of the public to join us to make the big difference in our various communities,” he said. (NAN)